Nelson Mandela: A life in pictures
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
Topics: Politics News
You couldn’t turn on the TV or open a newspaper last week without being hit in the face with yet another analysis of President Bush’s first 100 days. But all I could think of was: What about the other guy? You know, the one who won the popular vote by more than 500,000 and came within a single, late-night Supreme Court ruling of becoming leader of the free world. So I did a little digging to see what he’s been up to. Here’s what I found out.
Al Gore: The First Hundred Days
Day 1: Puts on a brave face while helping Tipper unpack. But breaks down when he comes across a canceled check made out to David Boies.
Day 2: Slips into a deep depression.
Days 3 to 17: Sits around and does nothing.
Day 19: Longing to give his life meaning, he spends the afternoon typing “Al Gore” into Internet search engines and counting how many hits his name gets.
Day 23: Stops by Democratic National Committee headquarters to see Terry McAuliffe. Is wounded when he’s asked to wait outside.
Day 26: Spends the day building a scale model of the “Bridge to the 21st Century” out of toothpicks. Then burns it down.
Day 30: Reads up on how Winston Churchill remained active following his defeat, leading the charge of the loyal opposition. Considers doing the same but decides to have a midnight snack instead.
Day 32: Signs up for an arts and crafts class at the local night school. Gets an “A” on his first project — a small throw pillow, with “538,000,” his margin of victory in the final popular vote tally, stitched in needlepoint.
Day 38: Watches the House hearings on the Rich pardons. Allows himself a satisfied smile.
Day 44: Goes to the store to pick out a get-well card for Vice President Cheney. Impulsively decides to send him one of those fake cans of nuts with the phony snakes that pop out instead.
Days 1 to 100: Like Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” he spends endless hours sitting in the dark, watching videos of Jennings, Brokaw and Rather “putting Florida in the Gore column” — all the while muttering: “I’m still big … it’s the Supreme Court that’s gotten small!”
Day 46: Spends day trying to figure out how to use his ATM card.
Day 47: Contemplates suicide. Decides against it. Eats a carton of Krispy Kreme doughnuts instead.
Day 53: Repeatedly watches “American Pie” on cable. Calls Marie Callender’s to see if they deliver.
Day 56: Enraged by Bush’s environmental policies, he decides to write a stinging “I told you so” Op-Ed but is soon distracted by his newfound addiction to daytime TV. Kyoto can wait; Ricki Lake is doing “The Ho Who Stole My Man Is Also My Sister!”
Day 59: Tries to organize a Presidential Also-Rans Club with Bob Dole, Mike Dukakis and Walter Mondale but abandons the idea when none of the three calls him back.
Day 60: Walks up and down the sidewalk yelling, “Why? Dear God, why?” at everyone he passes.
Day 63: Trying to reinvigorate their depression-dampened sex life, Al and Tipper fly to Los Angeles and sneak into the Staples Center to reenact their convention kiss, only to find themselves making out in the middle of a Lakers game. It’s not the same.
Day 66: Inaugurates daily habit of mailing Ralph Nader a small container of arsenic-laced water with a note reading, “Still think there was no difference, Smart Guy?”
Day 68: Plays his 10,000th game of cribbage with the team of Secret Service agents assigned to protect him. Owes them a collective $47,000.
Day 71: Surfs the Internet for hours. Randomly logs on to chat rooms and informs the chatters: “If it wasn’t for me, there would be no such thing as cyberspace!”
Day 77: On the same day that President Bush throws out the first pitch at the Milwaukee Brewers’ home opener, he is asked to toss out the first cow chip at the Paducah, Ky., state fair.
Day 78: Spends morning helping Tipper make chocolate chip cookies for Sidwell Friends School’s annual bake sale. Spends afternoon eating the profits.
Day 80: Is approached by Jenny Craig about being its national spokesperson. Says he’ll get back to them. Mulls it over while downing three cheeseburgers, a large order of fries and a strawberry shake. Decides against it when he learns it would mean going on a diet.
Days 9, 13, 20, 27, 34, 41, 48, 54, 61, 69, 76, 83, 90, 97: Watches “Survivor.” Develops a wicked crush on Elisabeth and tries to get his pals at the FBI to get him her home address. Becomes enraged when she is voted out of the outback, telling friends that if he still had access to the nuclear arsenal, he’d “blow that jerk Colby away.”
Day 88: Trying to maintain his international profile, Gore spends the day sampling the cuisine of all the countries regarded as foreign policy “hot spots.” He thoroughly enjoys the Peking duck but says he found the Kurdish flan a tad mealy.
Day 89: Secret Service code name is officially changed to “lard-ass.”
Day 97: Hungry for attention, he appears on “Weakest Link.” Unable to break out of his “smartest kid in class” campaign mode, he gets the first question right but spends so long elaborating on his answer that he uses up all of his team’s time and is immediately voted off the show. Host Anne Robinson sends him down the Walk of Shame with a curt “So, once again you managed to receive the most votes but wound up the loser. You really are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!”
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
Mandela is accompanied by his former wife Winnie, moments after his release from prison February 11, 1990 after serving 27 years in jail. (Reuters)
In this February, 1990 photo, shortly after his release from 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela, gives the black power salute to the 120,000 supporters packing Soccer City stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg. (AP Photo)
Nelson Mandela showed his passport in February 19, 1990, shortly after his release from prison. The South African government authorized an application for himself and his wife Winnie - (Juda Ngwenya / Reuters)
In this July 27, 1991 photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the "Day of the Revolution" in Matanzas, Cuba. (AP Photo)
In this July 4, 1993 photo, President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela listen during Fourth of July ceremonies in Philadelphia during which Clinton presented the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to the African National Congress president and South African President F.W. de Klerk. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
President of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela acknowledges cheers from the crowd as he prepares to unveil the ANC's official election platform in 1994. (AP Photo/David Brauchli)
African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela greeted residents of Mmabatho in March 1994, during a visit after the nominal homeland came under South African control following the ousting of the former President Lucas Mangope. (Reuters/Howard Burditt)
South African President Nelson Mandela smiles with actor Sidney Poitier at a press conference in Cape Town in 1996. Poitier played Mandela in the film "One Man, One Vote" (AP Photo / Sasa Kralj)
South African President Nelson Mandela waves to crowds as he sits next to Queen Elizabeth II in a an open carriage on the way to Buckingham Palace.(AP/Louisa Buller)
Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly Cyril Ramaphosa, left, holds up a copy of the country's constitution which was signed by President Nelson Mandela, in December 1996. (AP Photo / Adil Bradlow / POOL)
Nelson Mandela at a news conference in Johannesburg in February 2000. (AP Photo / Denis Farrell)
South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar, right, received the Rugby World Cup trophy from President Nelson Mandela also wearing a South African rugby shirt, after South Africa defeated New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup , in 1995. (AP Photo / Ross Setford)